We had the good fortune of connecting with Sydney Cutler-Abich and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sydney, what principle do you value most?
Accessibility to wellness services is so important, especially in the age of COVID-19, when so many people are experiencing uncertainty, anxiety, and financial difficulty. Wellness can and should be both safe and inclusive for everyone, not just those privileged with financial resources. You can only benefit a finite number of clients if you keep your offerings exclusive! As we establish the mission and vision of our businesses, setting pricing in conjunction with our education/certification/experience, we can ALSO make some aspect of our offerings financially accessible for as many people as possible; for example, by creating spaces of service through offering self-selected sliding scale/payment plans/donation-based/free services when possible.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’m the founder of Ananda Meditation, which provides Yoga Nidra meditation services to individual, group, and corporate clients all over the world. I am a certified Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra guide, practicing Yoga Nidra meditation for the past ten years and teaching since 2016. My background is in clinical social work in the healthcare sector for the past twenty years, and I live with a chronic illness myself. This experience has given me a unique perspective on the many barriers to quality health and wellness care– including race, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexuality, and culture. It’s my goal to be of service to as many people as possible, to create and hold sweet spaces for people to rest and heal, and to empower folks to remember their inner divinity. It is an incredible privilege to share this ancient and powerful practice.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live on the East Side, so much of my Visit LA would be based here!
Eat: Fred 62 in Los Feliz has the BEST pancakes in town, hands down! Bagels from Maury’s in Filipino Town Coffee and Pastries from Verve in DTLA Brunch from Jewel in Silver Lake Sushi from Hama Sushi in Venice
Ice Cream: Carmela’s in Pasadena or Fairfax district
Shop: Herbs/Teas/Plant Medicine: Wild Terra LA in Highland Park Clothing and
Home: Clover in Silver Lake, The Odells in Silver Lake Collectibles/Weird
Stuff: Wacko in East Hollywood
Records: Amoeba Records
Nature: Point Dume, Malibu Switzer Falls, San Gabriel Mountains Descanso Gardens La Cañada Arlington Gardens, Pasadena Side Trips: Joshua Tree National Park Ojai Idyllwild Palm Springs
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I learned a lot about sliding scale wellness services through: Jennifer Patterson of Corpus Ritual https://corpusritual.com Everybody Los Angeles (www.everybodylosangeles.com) Constanza Eliana Chinea (www.embodyinclusivity.com)
Kelli Radwanski Kat Mills